Devin Booker looks like a coach when he’s on the sidelines.
Fully engaged. Talking to players.
So maybe the three-time All-Star has a future in that when his playing days are over.
Nah. No patience for that.
“Coaching is a lot,” Booker said after Monday’s shootaround prior to Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Dallas Mavericks. “It’s babysitting, it’s more than the Xs and Os. That part I think I can figure out and do, but it takes a lot, man.”
Booker credits NBA coaches for dealing with “so many personalities and so many egos” in that role.
“Some people that just don’t play the game the right way,” Booker said. “It’s crazy to say, but even in the NBA, there’s a lot of players, and I watch every game. It’s a lot of players that just don’t get it. It’s not always the coach’s fault, but I don’t have time for that. I can’t baby anybody out there. I can’t do it.”
Booker concluded he’d rather be on the business side, anyway.
“Yeah, take that route,” Booker said.
Booker spent more time on the bench than he wanted while missing three games in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs against New Orleans with a right hamstring strain suffered in Game 2.
“It’s something I didn’t want to deal with in that last series,” Booker said.
During that three-game stretch, Booker sat on the bench, but stood up just as much as the coaches shouting instructions and got in the ear of players during timeouts.
Booker encouraged Deandre Ayton to look to score in Game 3.
The Suns big ended up scoring a career playoff-high 28 points with 21 coming in the first half of a 114-111 win in New Orleans to give Phoenix a 2-1 series lead.
“D-Book was just telling me, ‘Don’t get tired of shooting the ball,'” Ayton said after Game 3. “He just kept saying change your mindset. Don’t think you have to move it. We need you to score this ball, score this ball.”
So, Booker can get his message across and have it well received as evidence of Ayton’s career night, but still, a future NBA coach?
“Book?,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “Book has no patience for coaching, at all. No shot.”
The thought of it is laughable for Williams.
“There’s no way,” Williams continued. “He’s unbelievably competitive, but I couldn’t see him being an NBA coach at all. Maybe at Moss Point (Mississippi, where he played high school ball) or something like that when he’s done. But, no, not an NBA coach. No shot.”
Then again, Williams didn’t think he’d be an NBA head coach, either, while playing in the league.
“Good point,” Williams said. “It’s the last thing I thought I’d be doing.”
Williams is one of 12 current NBA head coaches who played in the league.
The other 11 are Nate McMillan (Hawks), Ime Udoka (Celtics), Steve Nash (Nets), Billy Donovan (Bulls), Jason Kidd (Mavs), Steve Kerr (Warriors), Rick Carlisle (Pacers), Tyronn Lue (Clippers), Willie Green (Pelicans), Doc Rivers (76ers) and Chauncey Billups (Blazers).
Five the eight remaining playoff teams are being led by former NBA players in Williams, Udoka, Kerr, Kidd and Rivers.
So maybe there is a future for Booker as an NBA head coach.
Nah. Just not at this stage of his life, anyway.
Besides, at age 25, Booker’s got plenty more playing years left in him.
“He’s good as a player being engaged, but I don’t see him coaching,” Suns forward Jae Crowder said. “He doesn’t have the patience for a coach, right now. Maybe when he gets older, but right now, young Book? Nah, he’s not there yet. I can’t see it.”
Support local journalism. Start your online subscription.